On 13th December, China captured an American underwater spy drone close to Chinese water in the South China Sea.
On a reaction to such event, misspelling “unprecedented”, the President-elect of America tweeted:
“China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters – rips it out of water and takes it to China in unpresidented act.”
It is quite understandable why the US Navy’s underwater drones are doing “research” after crossing around 8000 kilometres of distance and the massive Pacific Ocean into the South China Sea very close to Chinese water.
It is all about spying on Chinese military establishments in the South China Sea region. And as a sovereign superpower, China has every right to do the “research” on the captured spy drone to understand its efficacy in threatening the Chinese defence. If the Chinese found it an ordinary spy drone that cannot penetrate the defence, the country will hand over the drone to the USA.
Chinese defence ministry issued a statement saying
“in order to prevent this device from posing a danger to the safe navigation of passing ships and personnel, the Chinese lifeboat adopted a professional and responsible attitude in investigating and verifying the device.”
The statement also expressed that after necessary verification, “China decided to transfer it to the US through appropriate means.”
As the readers know that Trump has a Sinophobic approach throughout his election campaign and after winning, he carefully playing the anti-China cards through his message distribution channels.
To contain China has been a long-sought policy of the US state department. There were many occasions when the US strategy pundits openly advocated such aggressive policy.
The US made ‘Crisis is the South China Sea’, empowering India militarily against China and the ‘Security crisis in Central Asia’ are some tools by using which the US is trying to achieve its strategic goal of ‘containing’ China.
It is also reported by several journalists that approximately 400 US military establishments are placed in and around the South China Sea in order to put strategic pressure on China.
Trump has provoked China geopolitically too. His phone conversation with Taiwan’s leader was a tactical breach of the One China Policy which was settled during Richard Nixon’s visit to China under the Shanghai Communiqué of 1972. After 45 five years, Trump as a President-elect of the US wants to blackmail China by ignoring a very important mutually trusted policy.
This policy blackmail will not only be harmful for US-China relation but also for US-Taiwan relation. The Global Times published a warning editorial for Trump in which it focuses on possible retaliation against Taiwan from Mainland China. Here is an excerpt from the editorial:
“The One China policy has maintained peace and prosperity in Taiwan, and, if abandoned, cross-Straits ties would see a real storm. China would introduce a series of new Taiwan policies, and may not prioritise peaceful reunification over a military takeover if Trump insisted on his provocations. The US has no control over the Straits, and Trump is naïve to think he can use the One China policy as a bargaining chip to win economic benefits from China.”
Meanwhile, Trump has selected all his key players in his administration. T-Rex aka Rex Tillerson- the Exxon head, is named as the Secretary of the State. He is an old friend of Russian president Putin. If the Senate approves T-Rex, as many expect, there will be a qualitative improvement in US-Russia relationship.
But can Trump’s upcoming rapprochement towards Russia help his administration to advance the policy of China containment since Russia and China have been enjoying the peak time advantages of bilateral relationship?
The answer lies in Putin’s perspective on Russia’s national interest. As long as Russian and Chinese national interests have been nurtured by present model of Sino-Russian relationship, Trump cannot win over China.
There is also a great division in the US society that China can exploit to make the hegemony unsettled from the core.
Therefore, a big question will come to the president-elect from the intelligence community, which is, if the US breaks up with China in all fronts, how will America compensate the relationship when the empire is under the global impression of falling?
To carry on with a decades-old policy of containing China will not make America great again. As a country of good people and worst foreign policy, the US should listen to China if it really wants a soft exit from the world stage.
Trump must remember that during the soviet fall, it didn’t throw unnecessary rhetoric against European liberal leadership. The standard way of soft exit is to settle the domestic conflict and hibernate as long as you need for your national interest.